23 April 2024 - occupied Palestinian territory

‘Nowhere is safe’ for children in the occupied Palestinian territory with at least 24 children killed in Gaza and the West Bank

Picture of refugee camp
A boy looks at a rainbow over tents in Al Mawasi, Gaza [Bisan/ Save the Children]

 23 April 2024 – At least 24 children have reportedly been killed in three days of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory including 21 children killed by airstrikes in Rafah, and at least three children killed in Israeli force raids in a refugee camp in Tulkarm in the West Bank, said Save the Children.  


The escalating violence comes as civilians in both Gaza and the West Bank are increasingly unprotected, with children killed at a devastating rate across the occupied Palestinian territory. In Gaza, whole families are being wiped out, and a growing number of people, including children, are being left with no surviving family members.  


The attacks in Nur Shams camp in Tulkarm  in the occupied West Bank which started on 18 April have left at least 14Palestinians dead, including at least three children, in the deadliest incident in the governorate in nearly 20 years, said Save the Children.  


According to the UN, Israeli forces used anti-tank missiles, armoured bulldozers and live fire, injuring at least 11 Palestinians and destroying buildings. Several other Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation. Reports include bodies in the streets and houses hit by blasts as Israeli drones flew overhead and armoured vehicles moved through the camp. Residents reported no electricity, and food running short with no one allowed to enter or leave. According to Palestinian authorities, homes, shops, the electricity grid, and water and sewage networks and infrastructure were destroyed. Medics were reportedly denied access to the wounded by Israeli forces. 


Xavier Joubert, Save the Children Country Director in the occupied Palestinian territory, said: 


“The past few days have been notably deadly in a context already characterised by increasing death and destruction. The rate and scale of violence facing children in Gaza is unparalleled. At the same time, the situation in the West Bank is also rapidly deteriorating, with more and more children paying for increasing use of force with their lives. 2023 became the deadliest year on record for Palestinian children in the West Bank in September, with 38 killed by that point. At least 116 Palestinian children in the West Bank have been killed in the six months since.  


"There is nowhere safe in Gaza. There was also nowhere safe in Tulkarm in the last few days – people weren’t allowed to leave. The tragic reality is thatchildren and families in parts of the West Bank, instead of being protected, are being cornered by law enforcement operations with nowhere to go.” 


Save the Children is calling for stronger efforts to ensure respect and protection of civilians across the occupied Palestinian territory, including their access to medical care, at all times. Homes, schools and hospitals must also be respected and protected.  


Save the Children has been providing essential services and support to Palestinian children impacted by the ongoing conflict since 1953. Save the Children’s team in the occupied Palestinian territory has been working around the clock, prepositioning vital supplies to support people in need, and working to find ways to get assistance into Gaza.



For further enquiries please contact:

Randa Ghazy, Regional Media Manager for North Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe: Randa.Ghazy@savethechildren.org;

Our media out of hours (BST) contact is media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44(0)7831 650409

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